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SYLLABUS Powered By Docstoc
                                African American Art
                       African American and African Studies 376
                                Winter Quarter 2009

Instructor: H. E. Newsum
Office: 386C University Hall
Phone: 292-7524 (off) and 337-2622 (studio)
E-mail: (Do Not Submit Assignments by Email)

Course Description:
GEC Social Diversity in the USA; Arts and Humanities: Analysis of text and works of
art, VPA
This course provides an historical survey, as well as, a thematic exploration of African
American art from the late eighteenth century through the Harlem Renaissance to the
nineteen sixties. Contemporary artists, whose careers spanned across various periods
(Renaissance, Civil Rights, post-Civil Rights), are examined. The course emphasizes the
intellectual, psychological, political and cultural responses of Black people to the social
domination of the White world through artistic expression. The class also emphasizes the
connections and differences between African American and African arts. It also examines
the relationships between European American and African American arts, while
evaluating the contributions of African American artists to American visual culture and
international artistic consciousness. This course will explore the questions of identity and
representation. Lectures and readings focus on historical, political, and religious elements
of African American artistic and cultural production, as well as contemporary
perspectives on African American art and culture. Students are required to attend lectures
and art exhibits, participate in class discussions as well as complete all examinations and
paper assignments.

The course will foster an understanding of the pluralistic nature of institutions, society
and culture in the United States. Students evaluate significant writings and films to
develop capacities for aesthetic and historical response and judgment; interpretation and
evaluation; critical listening, reading, seeing, thinking, and writing; and experiencing
visual texts and reflecting on that experience. Students identify, understand, and critically
analyze visual representations and materials in a larger context. This could include
aesthetic, cultural, economic, ethical, historical, legal, philosophical, psychological,
social, and technological contexts.

GEC Objectives:
1. To explore the roles of such categories as race, gender, class, in art/visual and cultural
2. To recognize the role of social diversity in shaping the students’ own attitudes and
   values regarding appreciation, tolerance, and equality of others.

3. To identify, understand, and critically analyze visual representations and materials in
   a larger context.
4. To demonstrate the ability to analyze, interpret and share, and/or communicate
   visually, and create/compose visual materials.

Course Objectives:

1. To provide students with a historical and thematic exploration of art from a
    demographic whose work is scantly studied within the traditional academic art
2. To provide students with the intellectual, psychological, political and cultural
    perspectives that construct African American artistic expression in order for students
    to sufficiently understand the social effects of living in a white dominated American
    society and identify ways in which Black artists construct identity based on said
3. To familiar students with terminology relevant to art and to the political and social
    conditions of Black artists and Black people historically.
4 To familiar students with African American artists; that is, their life
     experiences and their visual work.
5. To advance students’ research and documentation skills through written
6. To build upon students’ ability to discuss and write about art and culture

Required Texts:
Wilson Jeremiah Moses, Afrotopia (SBX)
Sharon Patton, African-American Art (SBX)
Zip Reader (SBX)
Note: For documentation (bibliography) purposes, you will need a Style Manual:
Turabian, Chicago, MLA, or APA. Free ―Style Sheets‖ for each of these manuals are
available at the Reference desk in the Main Library.

1) Definitions: Definitions can be drawn from the                  10%
text book (Patton), or from other art books, or dictionaries.
Definitions should be a well developed, detailed paragraph to
one page long. Choose 20 from among the following list of key words:
double consciousness, iconography, syncretism, acculturation,
assimilation, style, medium, representational, Realism,
Surrealism, Cubism, Fine art, Folk art, Africanisms, creolization,
Classical, Neo-Classical, Abstract Expressionism,
nationalism, pan-Africanism, Baroque, naturalism,
Primitivism, modernism, colonialism, post-modernism,
Expressionism, post-colonial.
Due Week 3.

2.) Biographical Sketches of Visual Artists or Artist Groups         20%
(Ten [10] Entries, a page per entry). Biographies must cover
the historical spectrum from the Colonial Period to the Sixties.
Due Week 5.

3.) Annotated Bibliography (Ten [10] Entries)                        20%
The exercise is intended to be preparation for the final
research essay. Among other places, resources for this
assignment can be drawn from the Reader and Closed
Reserve List. Each annotation must consist of four (4)
complete sentences. Due Week 8.

4.) A critical and analytical essay on one of the                     30%
 following suggestions:
        A. The relationship between Black artistic/cultural expression
            in the visual arts and the formation and representation of Black identity.
        B. The social and political role of visual art and culture in
            Black liberation struggle.
        C. Students may choose to approach the subject of Black visual
            art from other angles, but this should be discussed with the
            instructor two weeks before the paper is due.
Note: Essay must utilize secondary sources, and contain quotations,
and bibliography—10 pages. Due Week 10.

5) Students are expected to attend at least two art exhibits,      10%
featuring African-American art and artists during the quarter.
A two-page double-spaced critical response is required for each exhibit.
Possible venues: Frank W. Hale Black Cultural Center (OSU), Kiaca Gallery, William H.
Thomas Gallery, Elijah Pierce Gallery (King Arts Complex), Columbus Museum of Art,
Columbus Cultural Arts Center, etc.

6.) Class Participation (participation points are directly           10%
related to regular attendance).

Note: All assignments must be typed and submitted on time.
A late submission will adversely affect your grade. Writing skills
are considered in the grading process. Be cognizant of grammar,
diction, sentence and paragraph development, punctuation,
documentation and spelling.

                                 WEEKLY SCHEDULE

Week 1: A. Introduction to AAAS 376: Early African-American Art
      -Patton, Introduction. Pp. 11-16
      -Moses, Afrotopia, Chap. 2 ―Varieties of Black Historicism,‖ pp. 18-43
      B. The Black Image In Western Art (Video)

Week 2: The Colonial Period
      A. The Amalgamation of Cultures
             -Patton, pp. 19-25
      B. The Material Culture of Plantation Slavery
             -Patton, pp. 25-40: Architecture, Textiles, and Artifacts (The Metoyer
             Mansion, quilt, drum, pottery, and metal work).
      C. Urban Slave Artists and Craftsmen
         -Patton, pp. 40-49: Furniture and Smiths work by Bunel, Frances, Gross,
         Bentzon, etc.
      D. Introduction to the Fine Artists: Moorhead, Johnston. Slides 21-23.

Week 3: A. Black Expression in Literature and Lore
         1.) Equiano in Zip Reader
         2.) Wheatley in Zip Reader
         3.) Folklore/the oral tradition: Zora is my Name (Video/excerpts)
         4.) Intellectual Concerns: the Nineteenth Century
         -Moses, Afrotopia, Chap. 3 ―From Superman to Man,‖ pp. 44-95.
         Definitions are due.

Week 4: A. The Nineteenth Century: From Slavery to ―Freedom‖
         -Patton, pp. 51-105
         2.) Manifest Destiny and the Anti-slavery Movement.
         3.) Free Black and Slave Artisans: Architecture, Crafts, Furniture and Pottery
         by Dolliole, Tahro, Gudgell, Powers, Ellen and Margret, Lee, Day, Barjon,
         Dave the Potter. Slides 1-12 &15-19.
         4.) The Fine Arts: Painting, Sculpture and the Graphic Arts.
             a.) Exhibition, Audience and Patronage
             b.) Graphic Arts: Reason, Lion, Hackwood
             c.) Landscape and Portraits: Duncanson, Brown, Bannister. Slides 24-26
             d.) Neoclassical Sculpture: Warburg, Lewis. Slides 27-30
             e.) Genre Painting: Tanner (see also Bearden and Henderson, Closed
                 Reserve) Slides 31-34.

Week 5: A Continuation of Week 4: The Nineteenth Century: From Slavery to
      A. Black Expression in Literature and Social Rhetoric
          1.) Horton in Norton (Zip Reader)
          2.) Garnett in Norton (Zip Reader)
          3.) Harper in Norton (Zip Reader)
          4.) Washington in Norton (Zip Reader)
      B. Moses, Afrotopia, Chap. 5, ―W. E. B. Du Bois and Antimodernism, ― Section
      2: pp. 149-168
      Biographical Sketches are due

Week 6: Africanisms and African-American Vernacular (Folk) and Fine Art
      A. In Black Art, Ancestral Legacy (Zip Reader )

          1.) Gaither, ―Heritage Reclaimed: An Historical Perspective and
          2.) Perry, ― African Art and African-American Folk Art: A Stylistic and
              Spiritual Kinship.‖
       B. In Africana Studies (Zip Reader)
          1.) Pruitt, ―The Art of Africa and the Diaspora‖
       C. Honoring the Ancestors (video). Slides 13-14. (See also Phelps and
              Newsum 76-80).

Week 7: The Twentieth Century: Black Identity and Liberation Struggle
       A. W.E.B. DuBois and Alain Locke (Zip Reader)
         1.) DuBois, ―Of Our Spiritual Strivings‖ in The Souls of Black Folk
         2.) Locke, ―The Legacy of the Ancestral Arts‖ in The New Negro
         3.) DuBois, ― Criteria of Negro Art‖ in Call and Response
      B. George Schuyler and Langston Hughes (Zip Reader)
         1.) Schuyler, ―Negro-Art Hokum‖ in Norton
         2.) Hughes, ―The Negro Artist and the Racial Mountain‖ in Norton
      C. Harlem Renaissance Artists (Video)

Week 8: Art and Artists of the Early Twentieth Century: the Negro Renaissance
      -Patton, pp. 105-159
      A. The social and cultural concerns of the period.
      B. The African Impulse in American Early Twentieth Century Sculpture: Meta
        Warrick Fuller.
      C. Photography: James Van Der Zee.
      D. Painting, Printmaking and the Graphic Arts: Douglas, Hayden, Motley,
          Pippin, Alston, Woodruff, Blackburn, Thrash, W. H. Johnson, Lawrence.
          Slides 35-55 & Lois Mailou Jones ―a sense of the future,‖ Slides 60-62.
      E. Negritude and Figurative Sculpture: Savage, Barthe, S. Johnson, Edmondson
          (pp. 128-133). Slide 58.
      Annotated Bibliography is due.

Week 9: The Nineteen Forties and Fifties
      -Patton, pp. 159-182
      A. Sculpture: Hampton (folk art)
      B. Expressionist and Abstract Expressionist Painting: Delaney, Cortor, Lee-
          Smith, Bearden, Woodruff, Alston, Lewis, Gentry, Clark. Slides 59.
      C. Towards a Black Aesthetic
          -Patton 183-220 (See also AfriCobra on Closed Reserve)
      D. Frantz Fanon, Black Skin, White Mask (Zip Reader)
          ―The So-Called Dependency Complex of Colonized People,‖ pp. 83-106.
          ―The Fact of Blackness,‖ pp. 109-141.

Week 10: Black Visual Arts from the Nineteen Sixties to the Present
      A. Frantz Fanon, The Wretched of the Earth (Zip Reader)
             ―Pitfalls of National Consciousness,‖ pp. 148-205.

             ―On National Culture,‖ pp. 206-246.
        B. Patton, pp.220 – 273.
           Critical Essay is due.

Academic Misconduct
It is the responsibility of the Committee on Academic Misconduct to investigate or
establish procedures for the investigation of all reported cases of student academic
misconduct. The term ―academic misconduct‖ includes all forms of student academic
misconduct wherever committed; illustrated by, but not limited to, cases of plagiarism
and dishonest practices in connection with examinations. Instructors shall report all
instances of alleged academic misconduct to the committee (Faculty Rule 33356-5-487).
For additional information, see the Code of Student Conduct

Disability Services
Students with disabilities that have been certified by the Office of
Disability Services will be appropriately accommodated, and
should inform the instructor as soon as possible of their needs.
The Office for Disability Services is located in 150 Pomerene Hall,
1760 Neil Avenue; telephone 292-3307, TDD 292-0901;